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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book which focuses on individuals who, in the course of their careers, became involved in multiple modes of cultural and political transfer. We will follow ambassadors as art agents and military men as political agents, merchants as art brokers and collectors and painters, composers and court entertainers as political agents, even as spies. The book then suggests that by the end of the eighteenth century, a tendency to specialize in one's mediation services was emerging. It then explores some crucial underlying concepts of early modern brokerage: the connection between diplomacy and art, the commercial side of brokerage, and the decisive part artistic professionals played in the world of informal diplomacy.

Keywords:agents; Europe



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